John Henry Smith eBook

Frederick Upham Adams
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 265 pages of information about John Henry Smith.

Carter is a good-looking chap, and I think he knows it.  The fond mammas here in the club consider him a catch.  I am not exactly a pauper myself, but I may be if this N. O. & G. deal goes against me.

I wonder how it would seem to be poor?  I wonder if Miss Harding would care to play golf with me if she knew I had to work for a living?  I wonder what I would work at?

I dreamed last night that N.O. & G. stock went down and down until it was worth less than nothing, and that I had lost every dollar in the world and owed several millions.

It was an awful dream.  I was in jail for a time, and when they let me out I did not have the car fare to get back to Woodvale.  I walked all the way, and was chased by dogs.  When I got here, the steward presented my bill, which amounted to several hundred dollars.  I told him I could not pay it, and he marked my name off the membership list.  I met Carter and several others and they would not speak to me.  I was dying from hunger, and looked longingly at the remnants of a steak left by Chilvers, but one of the servants told me to move on.

Then the scene changed, as things move in dreams, and I was at work on Bishop’s farm.  I was cutting and shocking corn, and the boss of the hired help swore because I was so slow.  My hands were bleeding from scratches where the sharp edges of the bayonet-like blades had cut them, and I was so hungry and tired that I was ready to lie down and die.  My wages were fifteen dollars a month, and every cent of it had been levied against by my Wall Street creditors.  Not until I was seventy years old would any of the money I earned be coming to me.  The other hired men looked on me as a weakling, and laughed at the torn golf suit in which I was clothed.

I was happy when I awoke and realised it was only a nightmare.

I raised the curtain so as to let in the cool air.  The links were bathed in a flood of moonlight.  Half a mile away were Bishop’s cornfields in which the dreamland fiends had tortured me.  It was not yet midnight, and down the lane I made out the forms of Chilvers, Marshall, Lawson, and other nighthawks.  Chilvers was singing, the others coming in the chorus of the last line, drawing it out to the full length and strength of a parody of the old negro song: 

      “Where, oh where are the long, long drivers? 
      Where, oh where are the long, long drivers?;
      Where, oh where are the long, long drivers? 
      ’Way down yander in the corn field.”

[Illustration:  The dream]



There was little doing in N.O. & G. stock on Monday or Tuesday.  It dropped off a point and then recovered.  I told my brokers to pick up 10,000 shares at or below 65.  I am confident it will strike that figure before the end of the week.

It was nearly five o’clock before we started up the lane toward Bishop’s.  We were delayed half an hour waiting for Marshall, but, knowing his weakness, we fixed the time of departure half an hour sooner than necessary.

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John Henry Smith from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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